tv Politics Nation MSNBC May 21, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
in the town. including at plaza towers elementary school where seven of the nine children were found. late today we learned the name of the first victim of this story. 9-year-old janay hornsby who was found at plaza towers. our prayers go to her family and all the grieving families, the victims of this terrible storm. the governor talked about the school. >> our hearts and prayers are certainly with those that have lost their loved ones. it has been a very, very hard experience. a heartbreaking experience. especially the loss of children in the schools themselves. it was very surreal coming upon the school because there was no school. there was just debris. >> president obama declared a federal disaster area and promised victims will get help on the path to recovery.
>> you will not travel that path alone. your country will travel with you. fueled by our faith in the almighty and our faith in one another. so our prayers are with the people of oklahoma today, and we will back up those prayers with deeds for as long as it takes. >> new nasa video taken from space shows the massive tornado system as it spawned on monday. the national weather service now says it was the most powerful level of tornado, an ef-5. with winds more than 200 miles per hour. as the storm cut a 17-mile path through oklahoma. joining me now live from moore, oklahoma, is the weather channel's mike bettes. mike, good evening and thank you for being on. >> yeah, rev, good evening to you. just imagine some of the horror
these residents went through. and you had to be in one of these. a concrete, reinforced, underground storm shelter to survive this. that's exactly what some of the residents did. then you emerge after the tornado. and you see this. you know, your neighborhood is just wrecked. this is what happened. and we actually talked to a gentleman, a guy that actually lives next door to the folks -- these are neighbors that have this storm shelter. this is where he lives. he was outside. he was trying to get a view of the tornado himself. he loves weather. he loves tornadoes. doesn't have a storm shelter himself. this is his bedroom right here. >> wow. >> this is where he would have gone to bed last night. absolutely amazing. he takes shelter right there in his bathroom that doesn't even exist anymore. the tub is off in that debris. he started throwing a mattress on himself and gone in there, he'd have had no chance. so he took a left turn, went right in that store shelter, al. i got to tell you it was the right choice. if he hadn't done that god knows
what would have happened to him. so many people in this area now trying to recover. >> when the tornado was approaching, people were going to the storm shelters. some of them reluctantly. and then they'd come out and everything they had and saw when they went in is just gone. >> yeah. it's gone. i mean, every worldly possession that they have is gone. the gentleman that we talked to that lives right here, his name's sky. he can't salvage a single thing from his home, truly. neither can his neighbors. imagine that, al. how your life just changes truly in a matter of seconds. you run from your house. you hop in a cellar. you shut the door. it's a roar of a train overhead. it lasts for a few seconds. you open the door, you come out and your world has changed. i don't know if any of us can put ourselves in those shoes, but they've done that here. >> now, mike, walk to the cellar. because i want to see the distance from these homes to the cellar, then as they come back
out. as you walk, how much warning, how much time did they have before it was go in the cellar or it's going to be too late? what kind of time period are we talking? >> well, they had a decent warning on this. about 16 minutes before it came. but, you know, people here, they kind of want to look at it themselves. they're so used to tornadoes. they want to go outside, take a look. the gentleman we talked to said he maybe had a minute or so to get in the cellar. he finally realized it was way too big. hopped in here. came all the way back in here. he then shuts the door, pulls the chain shut with this chain. in there truly for seconds. hops back out. it's about a 30-foot run to get in there. i can only imagine, al, that may have been the most terrifying 30 feet of his life. could you imagine? >> now, they run in the shelter. they hear it go overhead. and i don't think people around the country understand the tremendous impact. because it's almost right upon
them before they can realize how strong and wide this is. >> yeah, absolutely. i mean, you don't really comprehend. because sometimes it's just too dark. maybe there's too much debris. krou don't really know how big the storm is until you feel it. your years will pop because the pressure is really low. the door will shake. a lot of instanlss with these shelters, the door will be ripped off. that's why they put chains on them like this to keep the door in place so the people inside don't actually get sucked out by the tornado. because it has a lot of upward motion in the tornado. then you've got a lot of debris that's flying around. the pure wind speed and debris hitting homes like this, you'd have had very little chance to survive if you were actually in the home. you'd have had to have been underground down there a good six feet. >> this is utterly amazing. the people you spoke with today that survived, what are they saying to you was their reaction? was it shock? how did they feel when this was going on? because, as you said, they had
lived through other tornadoes. this clearly was something that they'd never experienced. >> well, i think, two things. i think shock for one. because you just don't think it's going to happen to you. and then i think once they realized that they're okay and they survived, i think there's a peace. they're at peace then. and they have perspective. they say, well, you know what, it's just a home. it's just a car. i can get a new one but i can't replace me. so i think you put their lives in perspective and maybe allow them to appreciate life a little bit more in that instant than they ever did before. >> i hope it makes all of us look at life in a different perspective, because it could be any of us. mike bettes, thank you so much for your time this evening. >> you bet. joining me now is oklahoma city mayor mick cornett. mayor cornett, thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> good to be with you, al. just wish it was under different circumstances. >> and so do i.
and we certainly, all of us, have our prayers for you and all of your constituents there. >> thank you. >> what can you tell us about the recovery right now just 24 hours later? >> well, it's a very awe inspiring situation here. i was able to tour the site this morning and then flew over it in a helicopter to get a look at it from the air. i can't explain to you just how devastating ground zero is. it's amazing that anyone walked out of that alive. piles of debris four feet high as far as you can see in any direction. children's toys. mattresses. cars standing on end. trees with the bark torn off of them. >> wow. >> yet, people survived over and over again. there's tremendous stories of courage out there. i want to thank the media for that advanced warning. that technology is wonderful, and it saved hundreds of lives in oklahoma city. >> are you getting all the help you need so far?
>> well, i suppose we are. you know, i think you can't just snap your fingers and put people's lives back together. certainly you can't put a blanket statement that addresses all of the individual needs. some people lost their kids. some people lost their parents. some people lost brothers and sisters. and their needs are more direct than a lot of us. but i think, you know, the federal help is most likely here. i think from the financial side, eventually we'll be able to pull this together. but you're talking about a lot of shattered lives here. the next few days are going to be heartwarming to say the least. >> how has the community pulled together in the wake of this storm? >> well, you have -- you have thousands of people wanting to help. and we're directing, you know, their attention to the red cross and asking for cash donations and any other items that they think the displaced people might need. most people here are, you know, having to move in with friends if they've been affected or displaced and lost their housing. and, of course, you know, later
this week, i think the -- the toughest part, when the funerals start. and we start to bury those kids that we lost in that grade school. i think that's when it's really going to hit home. i think we're -- in a little bit, we're processing it right now. but the toughest part is yet to come. it's going to be a long week in oklahoma city. >> wow. certainly our prayers will certainly be with you. one note, i'm sure you were glad as others were, kevin durant who's from oklahoma city has donated $1 million to the red cross. i'm sure that was a pleasant surprise amidst all this pain and problems you're facing. >> yeah. kevin really stepped up. he exceeds our expectations over and over again. >> oklahoma city mayor, mick cornett. thank you so much for your time this evening, and god bless you. >> thank you, al. tonight, so many people around the country are talking
about the teachers and students at plaza towers elementary school. there's so many heartbreaking stories and stories of courage. some teachers literally covered the children with their own bodies. >> i was in a hall with some kids. it started coming down. i laid on top of them. one of my little boys just kept saying i love you, i love you, please don't die with me, please don't die with me. i never thought i was going to die. the whole time i just kept screaming to them, quit worrying, we're fine, we're fine, we're fine. >> i do have a student here who wants to say thank you to you. >> this is jamie and his mom brandy. >> i told you we were going to be okay. >> dramatic a.p. photos show children being pulled alive from the rubble. rescued in those desperate moments after the tornado hit. these before and after photos
show the extent of the damage. the school totally flattened. >> i had to walk over part-tiil like, desks and everything. and it was pretty scary. everybody was rushing everybody. then i came out and i saw the cars and i saw the houses and i just started crying so hard. >> you are never, ever going to go through this again. >> we had to sit like this. and the tornado started knocking on the ceilings, go up and down. a light went down and it hit me in the head. and all the other girls were screaming. and they were crying. >> at nearby briarwood elementary school, emotional scenes. teachers saving students. and parents reunited with their children.
neither school had a so-called safe room. specifically designed to protect from this kind of weather disaster. joining me now on the phone is chris cones, school secretary for briar elementary. chris, what can you tell me about how the kids are doing now? >> well, from the ones that i actually know of, i guess we're all okay. we're in shock. and shook up. and stressed. and mentally upset. but those of us that are alive, we're doing okay. and trying to pick up the pieces one little second at a time. >> we understand all of the students, at least that we know, have survived at briarwood.
what kind of warning did you have? how much time did you have to prepare for this? >> well, we, you know, had heard all day that, you know, it was a possibility. but it was about 1:30 before we started really hearing warnings from parents calling and we had our ipads on with the local news and weather. and we lost power about 30 minutes before the storm actually hit. and weren't really sure, but we definitely heard it coming. and we were allowing people in up to the last second to take cover. parents and their animals and anybody off the street. we finally within seconds when we heard the roar, we had to take cover ourselves. all we could do was pray. we, you know, kids were screaming and crying. adults were praying. but we never thought for a second, you know, that we weren't going to make it through it. we just -- we had to have faith. >> the children were crying and
some were praying out loud, you say, which i can imagine is a scene that is unbelievable. but you say you never gave up hope you'd make it through. >> no. actually, it was -- it was a strange thing. the roof was being, you know, ripped apart. we could hear the power of the storm. it was just like people say it was. like a freight train coming through, but it was shredding the building. the ceiling and tiles were falling, debris on us. but when we walked out it was an odd feeling, like maybe it only happened to the school. but when we walked out, we noticed that everything was gone. and that's when the complete shock set in. that, you know, this was a truly devastating storm and we were very lucky to have come out alive. >> so while it was happening, this freight train sound, with you not knowing how widespread it was and how devastating it was, and then you walk out and the town you know flattened and
gone, i mean, i don't know how anyone could describe how that must have felt. >> no, you really can't. and i live in a neighborhood blocks from here by the school. i wasn't sure if my home was still standing or not. it's a definite panicked feeling. but still are thankful that you're alive. >> well, god bless all of you. it's great testimony, though, that you never gave up faith. chris combs, school secretary for briarwood elementary. thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you. >> god bless you and the whole community. ahead, it was the most powerful tornado tracked. 200-mile-per-hour winds. so how did it happen? and will it happen again? and the stories of hero teachers saving lives. they're emerging.
we'll be back with our continuous coverage, next. >> we were all in cover. a teacher took cover of us. miss crossway. >> miss crossway actually, she threw her body right over you, didn't she? >> yes. >> was she covering you and some other students. >> she was covering me and my friend zachary. then she -- i told her that we were fine because we were holding on to something. and then she went over to my friend antonio and covered him. and then -- so she saved our lives. ♪ [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me.
have you joined the "politics nation" conversation on facebook yet? we hope you will. everyone on your facebook page has been showing their support for the tornado victims in oklahoma. nicole says, i am heartbroken. i donated. i wish i could do more. sharon says, our hearts and prayers go out to everyone in moore. especially the parents of children who lost their lives. i couldn't agree more. to learn more about recovery efforts, please head over to facebook and search "politics nation." and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. big time taste should fit in a little time cup. new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. always good to the last drop.
we had to bail out because it was coming right at us. >> that debris, it's 500 or 600 feet up in the air and it's going. looks like it's roping out a little bit. over 149th street and maybe the east side of air depot road. there it is. it's going. i don't know how to explain it, how to describe it. this is -- this is terrible. this is war zone terrible. >> that was the news as it unfolded yesterday. and today we're learning just how powerful the monster tornado was. the national weather service says it reached the ef-5 level. the highest category for tornadoes. it was on the ground for about 17 miles. with a path up to 1.3 miles wide. winds were around 200 miles per hour. 24 people have been killed. but moore, oklahoma, has faced
this kind of devastation before. a tornado on may 3rd, 1999, followed a similar path. almost also ripping through the town of moore. its winds traveled at more than 300 miles an hour. the fastest speed ever recorded. it was one of the 74 twisters that touched down in oklahoma and kansas, killing 46 people and causing more than $1 billion in damage. so why did it happen again, and will these monstrous tornadoes become more common? joining me now is research meteorologist dr. harold brooks. he's with the national severe storms lab in norman, oklahoma. thanks for joining us tonight, dr. brooks. >> you're welcome. thank you for having me. >> two powerful tornadoes in the same area. why is this happening? >> well, in many senses, the fact that they occurred in the same exact location almost is a matter of bad luck.
the fact that they occur in this part of the united states is really because this is the part of the planet where it's almost a perfect laboratory for making violent tornadoes. we get all the ingredients coming together more often here than any place else on earth. >> bad luck notwithstanding, it happened almost the same place. is there anything about moore, oklahoma, that would make it more of this laboratory that you were saying? >> not especially. i mean, there's no real features that allow us to think that there's anything particularly special about moore. if you would have actually asked that question 20 years ago, there would be other places in the central part of the u.s. that you might have been asking the exact same question about. they've been relatively quiet since then. so it really does seem like it's swrus just a matter of incredibly bad luck. >> are these tornadoes themselves becoming more common? >> not that we can tell from the records. when we try to look at the best quality records that we have, which is essentially looking at the ef-1 and greater tornadoes
over the last 60 years, we really don't see any long-term changes that are taking place. and when we actually examine our physical understanding and use models to understand how the environment's been changing and will they change, our expectations for how tornadoes will change as the planet continues to warm are really unclear. one of the main ingredients, the energy available for the storms, is likely to become more favorable for tornadoes. but yet another one of the ingredients, the change of the winds with height, which helps organize the storms and makes them more likely to brew tornadoes is going to decrease in the future. so we've got a balancing act and we really can't tell how it's going to play out. >> now, how have things changed in terms of forecasting since 1999? >> well, there have been a couple of really big things i think that have occurred. one of them is illustrated by this case very well. back in 1999, the first time the possibility of severe thunderstorms were mentioned in the forecast was the day before or maybe the day before the day before. there was a possibility of
severe thunderstorms happening in this area. in this case, actually last wednesday. so five days before the tornado occurred there were forecasts that mentioned the possibility of severe weather outbreaks in the south central plains of the united states on monday. and by friday, they were talking about the possibility of strong tornadoes occurring in this region. so we've had a -- we've been able to advance our ability to sort of do the long range preparatory forecasting from just two to three days up to six to seven days now. on the warning scale, the time where we start to put -- say this particular thunderstorm is either making a tornado or is about to make a tornado, we -- this was a case where all of the science we have and all of the short range numerical models that help us prepare forecasters to make the best warning decisions they can were indicating early in the morning that there was a likelihood of if a storm formed in the oklahoma city metropolitan area, that it was likely to produce a strong to violent tornado. so when that storm formed, forecasters were ready to make that kind of decision. there was no way we could have done that 15 years ago.
>> well, dr. harold brooks, thank you for your time tonight. >> you're welcome. have a good evening. the search and rescue mission has turned into search and recovery. let's go to msnbc's chris jansing live in moore, oklahoma. chris, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you, rev. really, the death toll that changed so dramatically downward to 24 is explained by the chaos and the confusion and the miscounting. now officials do believe that they have accounted for everyone that's missing. but they're not taking any chances. so the governor pledged today that these rescue teams that have been checking these buildings that have collapsed, that are barely standing, they would go through them not once or twice, but three times. already in this neighborhood, they've put big orange xs for the first go-round. and signs in bright green for the second go-round.
we heard overnight, 101 people rescued. the influx of people not just who were volunteering but were expert in rescue came into this community and really made all the difference. and then those stories of heroism that you were talking about, we just talked to the superintendent of schools here in oklahoma. and she called teachers her angels in those two schools where where he heard about the teachers who were guarding their students. and truly saving their lives. so so many stories of heroism. and as horrible as it is here, as bad as the devastation is, a lot of people are saying the fact that so many people acted so heroically definitely saved lives, rev. >> let me ask about the survivors. what are they doing tonight, the survivors whose homes have been destroyed? >> reporter: well, a lot of them are out here, actually. it was pretty m miserable durine day. rain was coming down heart. it was cold. more people are coming out. they're sifting through the
rubble, looking for little pieces of their lives. it's not that easy to do. not just because -- and you can see the bricks that are piled up and appliances and so on. 200, 210-mile-per-hour winds. do you know how far that will carry something? sometimes people are finding things in their yards and they're looking at them and they're saying, this might mean something to someone. or these are photographs that i don't recognize. and you can understand how far things flew. in fact, on the medical center roof across the street from me, rev, i think it's five or six stories high, there is a car up there. we could see it with some of the helicopter shots. so that's what the folks are doing. they're going, picking up the pieces, looking for what might be left. in particular, anything that might be of sentimental value, of course. >> wow. chris jansing, thank you so much. >> thank you. amidst so much tragedy, there are miraculous stories. a baby born just as the tornado hit town.
that story is next. >> it was coming. it was hitting. and everybody said put your head down, put your head down! but some people got hurt, but we made it alive. >> we had to pull a car out of the front hallway off a teacher. and she -- i don't know what that lady's name is, but she had three little kids underneath her. good job, teach. it ripped our house up. i still got a little girl buried there. i got to go. all stations come over to mission a for a final go.
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liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? joining me now by phone is lieutenant colonel max law of the oklahoma national guard who's been out all day as part of the search and recovery mission. lieutenant colonel moss, thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you for having us. >> what can you tell us about what you saw today? >> well, much like last night, the area is -- is devastated. lots of mud. tons of debris. broken glass. metal. very few structures that are still standing. it's still a dangerous situation. even for the first responders and the law enforcement officers
working the area. >> tell me how the guard soldiers are responding personally to this tragedy. >> well, most guard soldiers joined the national guard because they want to defend our nation. but they also want to be available to support our state in times of domestic emergencies like this one. so while it's a tough thing to do, they're honored to do it. and they're doing an outstanding job supporting the civilian agencies on the ground. >> now, you've undoubtedly seen a lot of tragic situations. how does this compare in terms of the scope and the impact? how does this compare to things that you and your colleagues have had to deal with in the past? >> well, it's tough. we were around the school shortly after the tornado last
night. and, you know, our soldiers and airmen are professionals. they understand that the mission comes first. but they're human beings. i'm sure a lot of what they saw will stick with them for a long time. >> well, we certainly thank you for your work. we're going to check back in with you. but thank you and thank all of your colleagues. god bless you all. lieutenant colonel max moss of the oklahoma national guard. thanks for your time this evening. >> thank you, sir. it began as a normal day at the moore medical center in oklahoma yesterday. but the massive tornado had 30 patients and staffers scrambling for their lives. they hunkered down in the cafeteria and the designated zones in the center of the hospital. the medical center looked like this yesterday morning. and like this after the monster twister's destructive path.
walls blown off. debris blown all over. cars piled up. and a building reduced to rubble. but out of the rubble, we're hearing about some amazing stories emerging. not one patient or staff member was injured. including a baby delivered just moments before impact. joining me now is sheryl zitka. she's the hero nurse who delivered the baby and brought the baby and mother to safety. with sheryl is oklahoma state senator rob stanbridge. sheryl, let me go to you first. i mean, this is an amazing story. >> yes. it's a miracle. >> it is a miracle. let me -- let me understand it. so you delivered the baby, and then you get a tornado alert. what happens next? >> yeah. our first alert warned us that there was a storm brewing.
so we knew to prepare. so we got wheelchairs put in our patients' rooms and prepared to evacuate. cell reception was a little spotty. so it was sometimes hard to know what was coming or where it was. then we got the final alert that told us we needed to evacuate, go downstairs to the first floor. and so that's what we did. >> where did you go next? to the first floor? >> yeah. there's a cafeteria that's in the middle of our hospital on our first floor. and that is where we go when a tornado is headed our way. we had a warning the day before and had done the same thing. so we were very well prepared and knew what we needed to do to get our patients to safety. >> what was it like when it hit? >> it's unbelievable. it's hard to describe. and i'm still trying to deal with it and figure out what
happened. it got -- it was dark. that was the first thing that kind of told us that something was happening. we could hear the hail hitting the building, even though we were on the first floor and it's a two-story floor. so we at that point got down on the floor. my patient and myself, took her baby, put him in our laps and we hugged and we started praying. >> the baby was in your patient's -- the baby was in your patient's lap, had just been born, and in your patient's lap, and you all hugged and braced yourselves with the baby when it hit? >> yep. yep. we did. baby was a little over an hour old. didn't even have a diaper on yet at that point. but mom and i held the baby and prayed. and made it through. >> the baby just an hour old. and you and the mother who had just given birth, holding and praying as this storm hits. >> yes.
>> geez. what happens to the baby after the tornado had passed? >> well, once it passed, you know, very dark. we couldn't see. tried to start exiting the building. the front of the building had completely collapsed, so we couldn't go that way. got my patient back in the wheelchair. started trying to push her through the debris and had wonderful people in front of us trying to move everything out of the way. also had another patient that had delivered earlier that morning. her nurse is 33 weeks pregnant and with us. and pushing her patient right along with us. guys got the debris out of the way. we made it probably halfway through the building and couldn't go any farther with the wheelchairs. there was just too much rubble and too much debris. so at that point my patient got up and walked barefoot and we got out of the building. >> senator -- state senator standridge, with all of the rubble and all of the debris and all of people there traumatized,
i mean, this is an amazing story. a baby born, and this nurse being able to bring the mother and baby through this an hour after birth. i mean, this is an amazing story, senator. >> yes, it is, reverend. i'm here to, you know, support my friend and hero, sheryl stoepker. it's amazing. you see all the health care providers, first responders, jumping out here to volunteer. it's why we love our state. it's amazing to see them come to everybody's assistance. like you said and sheryl said, the miracle of making it through that sort of destruction is just awe inspiring, to be honest. my heart grieves for those that have lost loved ones and those that are still uncertain. so as we trumpet those heroes out here, let's keep that in mind, keep those in our prayers. we sure appreciate sheryl and others in that hospital to get everybody to safety and keep everybody cared for. >> yeah. well i agree, sheryl is a hero. sheryl and oklahoma state
senator sandridge, incredible story. thank you for sharing it with us. >> thank you. >> thank you. what can you do to help? we'll have that ahead in our continuing coverage of the tornado tragedy in oklahoma. >> americans from every corner of this country will be right there with them, opening our homes, our hearts to those in need. because we're a nation that stands with our fellow citizens. as long as it takes. our prayers are with the people of oklahoma today, and we will back up those prayers with deeds for as long as it takes. copd makes it hard to breathe...
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this storm. across moore, oklahoma, storm chasers captured chilling video of the funnel as it tore through the community. >> oh, my god. >> this is not good. please, dear god, please keep these people safe. lots of debris in the air. >> got a vortices on the side. >> the whole roof just came off. >> yeah, we need to go, we need to go! >> joining me now is chris mcvee, a storm chaser with the central oklahoma storm chasers. chris, you saw the storm touch down and were just a half mile south of it. tell me what you saw. >> well, we started on the storm when it was a few mimes west of moore. it intensified very quickly, got very large.
came right into moore. we were, yes, a half mile south of it. it was probably a mile wide. it was debris everywhere in the air. and you can see what kind of destruction it caused. it was a -- it was a terrible thing to see. >> now, you've been storm chasing for ten years. how does this storm compare to tornadoes that you've witnessed before? >> this is above and beyond anything i've ever seen. this is devastation on a level i've never experienced. this is much bigger than -- than anything that i've ever been near in my storm chasing career. >> i keep hearing people tell me tonight about it sounded like a train. or like a freight train. what was the sound like where you were? >> i would characterize it as a very loud -- being next to a very big waterfall. just a deafening roar. that's all you could hear, was just the roar of this tornado as it -- as it approached our location. it was just deafening.
>> you know, this can be dangerous, what you do. how do you know when to leave and take cover? >> well, we position ourselves in an area where we know the tornado is not directly heading for. we got ourselves in a position where we could be less than a mile away. we were flagging people that were driving out near the funnel. we were trying to get them out of harm's way. but we have the equipment to do so and do so safely. >> after the storm, you helped with the search and recovery. tell us what you saw. >> well, we were chasing in a 15-passenger van. we had a large vehicle. we put out on social media that we had the space and the means to get people out of there if we needed to. we showed up to the triage unit right over here at the movie theater, and we discussed with people what we could do. we were able to transport several people out of harm's way who had lost their vehicles in the tornado. so we were able to make a difference that day. >> storm chaser chris mcbee,
thank you so much for your time this evening. >> thanks for having me. we'll be right back with how you can help the survivors. >> i still have yet to find my f-150 pickup. and i don't know where it's at. i'm going to be okay. we're going to get back. we're definitely okies. that's what we're known for. we'll come back arms a swinging. ♪
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turned upsidedown in less than a half hour yesterday. joining me now is kate deshino live from moore, oklahoma. emergency response manager for ameri -- can. a nonprofit disaster relief organization that does important work in more than 90 countries. kate, thanks for being here tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> what have you seen on the ground there so far? >> as you look around, it's completely heart wrenching. it looks as though cars were crunched like soda cans in your hand. and there's responders and residents that are in the affected areas. and also dispersed around the community who are working to pick up the pieces of their lives right now. >> well, what is the greatest lead that you're seeing on the ground right now? >> i think there's a lot of needs. one of the needs that americare is seeing is access to medication and medical supplies that are needed to restore
health. as you can imagine, residents are displaced or injured, they need everything from tetanus vaccines so they can come and safely clean up their homes as well as medicines for individuals to have chronic care conditions like diabetes all the way down through your basic supplies like water and hygiene supplies that you would get at a drugstore. >> how are you working with other relief organizations that are there in moore? >> americare has a vast partner network of health centers as well as voluntary partners and social service agencies. we're working with local clinics to make sure they have the medicine they need to treat disaster survivors. we're also providing two truckloads of water and more supplies to the regional food bank who is considering continuing to provide important items like water due to water shortages and also interruptions in the water system. >> now, people listening to you right now, what is it that you most need them to do?
>> the best thing that you can do to help is provide a cash donation. americare can multiply your donations many, many times over. we work with many pharmaceutical companies and other great organizations to provide products at no cost to those who need it the most. so a cash donation can be the best way that you can contribute. >> kate dischino, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. ahead, hero stories. and in the face of tragedy, the best of america comes out again. that's next.
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we heard the tornado, and it sounded like a train coming by. and then we all took -- we were all in cover. and a teacher took cover of us, ms. crossway. she was covering me and my friend zachary. and then she -- i told her that we were fine because we were holding on to something. and then she went over to my friend antonio and covered him. and then -- so she saved our lives. >> i was in a hall with some kids and it just started coming down. i laid on top of them. one of my little boys just said, he kept saying i love you, i love you. please don't die with me, please don't die with me. >> we've seen how the teacher responded. and others that did heroic acts. the nurse that delivered a baby, and an hour later helped to save that baby and the mother. they've shown what they're made of. now let's show what we're made of. let's not just sympathize. let's help.
let's not just empathize. let's help. let's show that we are in our own way realizing that it is our duty as americans to help americans that face disasters that they had nothing to do with, but that we have everything to do with helping them make it through. it could be you. it could be me. it could be our child. let's help. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. chris jansing continues our coverage of the oklahoma tornadoes, next. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. rescue efforts in the oklahoma city suburb of moore are still under way.